Johnson’s New Deal has been greeted by the media with a seriousness it doesn’t deserve.
It’s a scam which cynically inverts the principle of consent in Northern Ireland
Brussels knows the Blame Narrative behind it and has received Johnson’s proposals with studied politeness.
Commentators have become drawn into the debate about whether it could achieve a House of Commons majority . Steve Baker has been trotted out to say he has an open mind . The Govester talks of a solid majority .
Of course aside from the brouhaha all this is about as relevant as the Brady Amendment . There is a lack of underlying substance .
However leaving aside the Customs Controls which are a combination of cumbersome processes – placing burdens on Northern Ireland businesses where there are none at the moment and the reprise of Alternative Arrangements which are not yet implementable – what is deeply troubling to anyone concerned about democracy , inclusion and ultimately peace is the price Johnson is prepared to pay to bring the DUP onside .
He presents it as consent . In fact it is a DUP veto . It is an inversion of the principle of consent . It guarantees , on the basis of the way Stormont works , the ability of the DUP to override the wishes of the majority regardless of the cost.
Presumably the Johnson and Cummings calculus is that ‘Get Brexit Done’ carries all before it . They may be right .
After all polls of Conservative members show most would sacrifice the union in order to gain Brexit .
However they may have seriously underestimated the British sense of fair play and justice . Always assuming the media and opposition expose the nature of the inversion of consent that Johnson is prepared to perpetrate to bring the DUP onside .
The arcane nature of Northern Ireland constitutional arrangements may help them.
So here are the key points
Nigel Dodds MP , DUP’s Westminster Leader , has explained how he thinks it would work to Reuters
Unsurprisingly the DUP are very content with their veto
As Matthew O’Toole points out there are some obvious implications to the power being handed to the DUP
It’s also important to remember that Stormont is not functioning . In fact since the Good Friday Agreement it has not sat for almost as long as it has
In the midst of the Westminster chatter it’s worth taking a measured perspective of what Johnson has proposed . Here is one authoritative voice:
The EU’s studied politeness is being taken as a triumph of Johnson’s diplomacy amongst his cheerleaders .The reality is rather different.
There are some more dispassionate voices like Goodall’s below , but the overall content and tone of media coverage obligingly accommodates itself to the Downing Street narrative :
Those with closer knowledge of Northern Ireland predictably display an understanding which is absent from most of the media.
The doyen of Sky , Adam Boulton, introduced some objectivity :
Evidently some in Government , with a less sophisticated understanding of how the Blame Narrative is supposed to play out are anxious to force the pace :
However the EU continue to take a more measured and urbane response. Holding their ground but leaving the door open . They would prefer for Johnson to storm out , slamming the door behind him rather than having to shut it in his face .
What is conspicuously absent so far are voices confronting the inversion of consent that Johnson has perpetrated .
Johnson is perpetrating an inversion of consent in a way that is unjust , and discriminatory in favour of the DUP .
Quite simply it’s an Undemocratic Outrage and it should be denounced for what it is .